People look at the hospitality industry and think it is all about serving others.
Basically it is, but I am not a servant and neither are the people I work with. I love being a hospitable person and making others happy by ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay at the Hotel. I don’t care that occasionally people scream and shout at me when things don’t go well during their stay or how they expected it to necessarily go; instead I care about how I can rectify the situation and how I can avoid it from happening again in future. I care about making those “moments of magic” happen for the customers. That is ultimately what I enjoy doing every day.
This article is not about that though, I could go on and on about why I love being in this industry until the cows come home, but I am not going to do that.
A year ago if you had told me that in a few months’ time I would know what a fat trap was and how to go about emptying it I would probably look at you like you were nuts, I didn’t even know what a fat trap was up until a few months ago. In fact, if I was told I would be doing 60% of the things I have learnt about and to do in the past 7 months I would most likely think you were crazy.
Sure I have always been a handy individual that knows her way around a toolbox and the cleanliness of her home, but I did not quite know about it into such detail like I have learnt to in the last 7 months.
Nowadays when I go into the toilets in public places or anywhere in fact, I wonder who the hell is in charge of their cleaning standards because they’re shocking, and trust me, you don’t notice a toilet is dirty until you are taught to notice how dirty a toilet really is. Who in life requests quotes for those bins in the ladies toilets (and I am sorry for the guys reading this)? Well, I do. You have no idea how many types there are out there and how much those nasty things cost.
That said, discount people, ask for a discount, and always get 3 quotes for the same thing from different suppliers. When I ask for a discount, I mean to get a discount; before I sign on the dotted line.
Oh and ladies, next time you go into a clothing store change room, take a look at that change room’s floor/chair… no really, take a look. Sif, all that hair and fluff. I. Can. Just. Die. I would rather take the clothes home to try on in a clean environment.
You could also probably perform surgery in my home these days, that’s how clean it is.
When the power goes out at 8am on a Sunday morning and there are no maintenance guys around, guess what? You are now that maintenance person, and you best figure out what blew in the DB board and how to get it fixed (don’t worry I am never put in any bodily harm at work). This. Is. Fun.
Sometimes I sit in my office and I hear a crash in the car park behind my window only to find some customer has reversed their car into a parking pole, “sorry sir/ma’am, are you okay/do you have insurance” – awkward.
Personal problems, let’s just be serious, work is work but we also work with humans (yes, there are still some out there), sometimes people need to be a shoulder to cry on, or even just need an ear to listen. I don’t even have kids, a boyfriend/husband or luckily even family problems. But you’ve got to learn very quickly how to be that person who can still be supportive and give some decent advice if need be.
Gym, pfft what’s that? (I am kidding I do have a pretty neat balance going for myself, I am lucky like that), but if I didn’t and did work some long dog hours, let me tell you, working in a 7 floor building that has a lot of stairwells, I would never worry about missing “legs day” ever again.
If I could go on about what I have learnt in the last 7 months I would probably be typing this article out for another 7 months, but I work in a Hotel and I don’t have time for that, plus I need to get to bed so I can wake up early and not look like death at the reception desk tomorrow morning. I place orders, from hygiene equipment to linen items, to anything else you could possibly need in a Hotel, and yes we have a purchasing guy that’s in charge of all of that in the Hotel, but just like the maintenance story, if that guy isn’t there, you’re pretty much him for the day.
Restaurant refurb, new curtains/scatter cushions time? You have to give in-put, or else you’ll end up looking at something you don’t like all day and every day, well you’re now also that designer person.
The garden service is on site and planting new plants and the gardener is not doing a proper job of pushing that soil down around the roots? You think you have seen it all; well you haven’t until you see me in the garden with my heels on showing him how to do it properly.
We have trainees, they’re like hospitality babies (I was one once), they want to learn about everything, EVERYTHING, they’re young and they don’t know much; but they are super eager to get to the top, quickly, it’s quite amazing to witness actually. When their results come back from varsity, I get to give them the news; I feel like a mother when doing this, sadly it doesn’t always swing the positive way though. But I can’t even begin to explain to you how proud I feel when they pass. Like I said, I was once there. Proud. Momma.
Someone say they need to hire a car? I can arrange that for you. You need to send a parcel/fax/scan to an email address? I can do that for you. Your Wi-Fi is not working? I am now in IT. Bring. It.
Housekeeping room attendant didn’t come to work today? I can make beds and clean bathrooms to help, we are a team and we work as one to make our customers happy.
Count stock? If I told you how many individual line items I count every month you wouldn’t believe it. And guess what, I love it. Until things don’t balance of course. Recount. I. Can. Cry.
Phone call at home at 10pm, 2am, 4am or on an off weekend? I am available.
Like I said I can go on, and there isn’t a second of the day that I do not enjoy when it comes to my work.
Never underestimate the amount of knowledge a person working in the hospitality industry has. I may not have studied something like law, medicine or engineering but I can tell you now that something like hospitality is also just as intense as any of these career choices I just mentioned.
Ps. I have studied labour law, have done a 1st aid course and know how the electrical boards at my Hotel work as well, so I guess that does give me some insight to some of those fields anyway ;)
The best part of my job is that I get to learn something new every day, because every day has a new challenge and new lesson to be learnt. I deal with different people every day, and no two people are the same or require the same thing.
I am also surrounded by some of the best people in the Hospitality industry because of the company that I am working for; most of all I have my two amazing parents that are also in the industry. A day never goes by that I cannot pick up the phone to get advice from any of these mentors I have available to me.